Asia leads the way in travel technology over next decade

In an industry already heavily “disrupted” by technology, tourism and travel will see even more of the business-side move online.

Singapore-based travel booking company Agoda says that single one-stop-shop apps for all travel needs, passport free travel, and mobile app check-in are the top three new travel trends expected by travellers.

Their report indicates travellers now expect a lot more from their travel experience in the next decade. In Asia, more than half of all respondents in Indonesia (56%), Singapore (54%), Malaysia (53%), Taiwan (50%), and the Philippines (48%) and Thailand (48%), consider this will be the norm in the next decade. In the UK and the US only a third of respondents recognised these trends.

Asians also believe their mobile apps will provide full check-in services, allowing guests to jump the registration queues, download their room access digital codes and head straight to their rooms.

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Around half the respondents in Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, China and Australia believe that passport-free travel will become the norm in the next decade. UK and US are more doubtful with only 1 in 5 surveyed believing it will happen.

Technology has already made an enormous impact on how and where people travel, how they book and using others’ reviews as an aid in their decision-making. The disruption has had a profound effect on local business who now have to share their local profits with the multi-national businesses that control the apps. At the same time they share the opportunity to spread knowledge of their services to an enormous audience.

Timothy Hughes, Vice President of Corporate Development at Agoda, says Asian travellers, especially, are much more tuned into, and using, all the new travel technologies.

“It is a technology golden age for travellers, as technology is developed to simplify the way anyone, anywhere can search, book and pay for flights, hotels or holiday accommodation.”

“The 2000s was defined by the mouse and the computer, putting online travel booking just a click away. The 2010s, was defined by the smartphone and app, and put a travel agent in the pocket of every phone owner, and the 2020s will be defined by the power of data and Machine Learning (AI).”

“This will enable companies like Agoda to provide personalised, more relevant recommendations to make booking travel even easier,”

“Asian-based companies are now leading the world in technology adoption and development to achieve this. I expect to see Asia press ahead with that lead in the 2020s, especially in areas such as video and augmented reality, improved mobile services with more chat and voice solutions, and payments to help bring the ‘unbanked’ online”.

Fo Thailand, this is how locals surveyed in some key areas…
• 49% of Thais anticipate using their mobile phones to check into hotels as the norm, making them one of the highest expectant of this trend.
• 39% expect to be able to use a single app for all their travel needs.
• 32% of Thai travellers wish to make more eco-friendlier choices when travelling.
• The capital city of Bangkok tops the wish list for Thais in the 2020s. This is followed by Kyoto (#2) and then Phuket (#3).
• 36% of Thai travellers would like to explore more of their own country in the next decade, while 30% would like to travel more internationally.

SOURCE: Thailand Today

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